Last post, we explored the Panmure Basin. If you’re already there by the Tamaki Estuary, you really owe it to yourself to head just a bit North to Point England.
(A pox on the house of whomever vandalized this sign…).
Point England starts out in a nice park with a well-paved walking track running along the shore. The nearby schools mean that there are often kids and young adults playing or hanging out nearby.
There are also, as is typical, pohutukawa trees around. Being summer, the New Zealand Christmas tree is in full bloom :)
The walk never gets particularly strenuous even as you leave the open area. I had plenty of energy left for admiring these flowers.
(While proofreading just now I asked myself “how much energy does it take to admire flowers?” but I decided to leave that phrase in for the amusement of the masses).
To the North, the reserve narrows and creeps along between the shoreline and some neighborhoods.
In true New Zealand fashion, if you want to get to Tahuna Torea you’ll have to walk through some peoples’ backyards. Don’t worry; it’s still an official walking track. (In true Nathan fashion, I was more interested in photographing the stairs).
If your backyard has a view like this, you can probably expect people to go tramping through it sometimes :)
There’s also a well-built footbridge. There’s one part where the trail does get a bit confusing because it splits off in a few different directions. If you go the wrong way I think you just end up on a residential street, so you can turn around and go the other way.
When I go out on these walks I usually download the park map beforehand onto my phone, so I consulted it and actually went the right way for once.
The track eventually takes you out of Point England entirely and up to Tahuna Torea.
The carpark area has so many ducks and pukeko that even I can get a moderately decent shot.
Tahuna Torea is a wetlands area culminating in a large sandspit jutting out into the estuary. If you plan on hiking along it, be aware of tides.
There are also some cool birds here.
Here’s a photo of the tip of the sandspit. I like how you can see it curving out into the water in this photo.
At this point I have to take a break in the photo narrative because I stopped taking pictures. As I walked out to the end of the sandspit, I noticed the tide was coming in. There are two ways to get out here: the long way up along the tidal lagoon, across the weir, and down; and the short route straight across the lagoon. The short route is only accessible on low tide. While I was taking these photos, the tide was coming in.
I attempted to return via the low tide route, but I found it impassible. The lagoon had already started filling to the point where I would have to wade in some pretty deep water. But even more distressing was that the mud underneath was very soft and was effectively sucking my feet down as I was walking into the water. I decided to bail out and walk all the way back around the lagoon.
While I was walking back, feeling mildly annoyed and somewhat damp, I noticed this funny little rope swing. Thank you for cheering me up, little rope swing :)
It’s a little hard to figure out exactly how many kilometers this walk is, but I think out to the tip of the sandspit (going the long way) and back to the South entrance to Point England is probably 10-12 km. In any case, it’s an absolutely lovely walk, and I recommend part or all of it to anyone looking to see a bit of nature in the Panmure area!
Next time we’re going to stay out East. It’s time to check out another volcano!